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I don't have "it"

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Old
07-15-2009, 12:32 AM
  #1
WickedWrister
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I don't have "it"

How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?

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07-15-2009, 01:57 AM
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Well unfortunately as the saying goes, "you either have it or you don't"...

To give you a good critique I'm sure we'd actually need to see you play. Is it positioning? What exactly makes you ineffective as a player?

If the skill set is there, and the desire to play well, maybe it's a confidence thing? Maybe you need to relax? Hard to judge over a message board.

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07-15-2009, 02:00 AM
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BadHammy*
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If you're a noob, then you need experience. If you already have the experience, then you need to work on your decision making process. Another thing to consider is you said you have decent skills, but can you use those fully at top speed? 98% of players can't do that. E.g. I can stick handle fine at top speed, but shooting is 10x more difficult for me to do when flying down the ice. If not, keep working at it.

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07-15-2009, 09:47 AM
  #4
noobman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?
You're asking for drills to help you develop "it". This is by far the most vague description of a hockey problem that I've ever heard, but I'll take a stab at it:

It sounds to me like you've developed a great set of individual skills, but you probably don't work as well when you're part of a unit. My guess is that you play very well with the puck, but your play without it is subpar. Stick time is always fun because you get to go out on the ice by yourself and stickhandle for the full hour (or whatever it is they allot) but in an actual game situation you won't get nearly that much time with the puck. What you need to do is work on your play without the puck.

In the offensive zone you'll need to get open and become a passing option for your teammate. If your team maintains a basic triangle setup then you should always have one guy in the high slot, one guy towards the side of the net, and one guy behind the net.

Defensively, you need to know who your check is based on your position. As a winger you need to know when to cover the point man tightly and when to stagger back to take away time and space from the attacking offensive players. Knowing how to get between the guy with the puck and one of his passing options is critical, as is the ability to sort of box a player out of the slot and to use your stick to block passes or pokecheck.

In the transition from offense to defense, you need to know where you are in relation to your teammates. If you see that two of your teammates are already close to the opposition blue line, hang back towards the red line (maybe even in your end of the neutral zone) to give your defender an emergency pass option. Alternatively if your team looks like they're slow on the breakout, make sure you use that speed of yours to get up the zone quickly. Odds are that you'll get the pass from the defender, and will then be responsible for getting the puck into the zone and setting up the offense.


I'm not a hockey coach so I can't really recommend any drills for developing these kinds of skills. Even if I could, you'd still need a few friends to help you out.

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07-15-2009, 10:01 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?
nah, you just suck & are a coward....

just kidding....as a coach, it sounds like to me you have a confidence issue, you can do the technical sides of the game, but can't put it together for a game situation. There isn't a drill for this, but there is something else that should help. Most successful players use a technique called visualization. In other words, they imagine themselves in successful situations on the ice & it puts them in the proper mindset. Talbot did this prior to Game 7 by placing himself mentally in the proper place to have success. This isn't day dreaming, this is actually putting yourself in the right frame of mind. Imagine yourself in a game situation & pre-visualize what you want to do. When you get to it, you won't lock up & can perform.

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07-15-2009, 11:09 AM
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WickedWrister
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My biggest problem, is adjusting to the speed of an actual game. I'm not slow, but I just have trouble... making decisions at a frantic pace.

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07-15-2009, 11:18 AM
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The Fear Boners
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
My biggest problem, is adjusting to the speed of an actual game. I'm not slow, but I just have trouble... making decisions at a frantic pace.
You're thinking too much. You need to work on just calming down and as you do this, everything will start to come to you in slow motion.

Its really weird when you reach that point, because everyone looks so slow, and everything feels a little easy.

You need to calm, have patience, and focus. Its not something that is easy to train or learn.

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07-15-2009, 11:27 AM
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The few guys who I've played with who really seemed to have "it" are the ones who live, eat and breathe hockey. At school they were playing shinny at recess and lunch, on days we didn't have practice they were out in the driveway playing. They watched it on tv and played hockey video games. If the guys playing after our practice needed another player, they'd put their gear back on and get out there for more. "It" just comes with experience, it's the ability to anticipate and read a play, to know where the puck is going, because you've seen it all 1000 times before. If you put in the time, it'll come to you

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Old
07-15-2009, 04:54 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Less is more ... when I think too much I don't get much done. I am sure that applies to most folk.

Hockey is such a reaction sport with the puck telling you your job that you can't think out there.

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07-16-2009, 02:29 AM
  #10
RandV
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I'm the exact opposite. I haven't been playing long, only under 2 years so my skill set is underdeveloped, but I have the 'it' thing and score above my skill level. Though I've struggled a bit on my new team which is in a high division, on my first team in a beginners division I kept up with the ringers with a 1.5 PPG pace.

I guess in my situation compared to yours I love a fast paced game. When I have the puck rather than think I react, more or less 'using the force', and usually my instincts are pretty good. Sometimes I screw up by completely throwing the puck away when there was nothing there, but more often than not I make an average to really nice play. I actually struggle more when there isn't a play to be made and I have some space with slowing down and having a look around.

I don't know if its good advice or not, but maybe it would help to keep things simple. If your say int he corner and under pressure and need to make a pass, rather than trying to find a teammate just focus on getting the pass past the defender. Similarly, when taking a shot with an opponent in the way, rather than looking for the goal just focus on getting it past the defender. Honestly that's all I do for a good number of my points.

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07-16-2009, 03:07 AM
  #11
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Watching high level hockey should help you speed up the process but it sounds like you need more experience and work on decision making. If you can get to stick and puck and play 2-2 half ice, I can't remember the actual name but it's a variation on keep away. You can only shoot if you're basically in the crease. Working on that might help.

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07-16-2009, 03:34 AM
  #12
octopi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?
Don't feel bad, I'm decent at floor hockey, but god awful at ice hockey. By which, of course, I mean shinny. Practice makes better, but you may want to try playing at a lower level, or experiment with equipment. Heck, I could barely compete at beginner rec league(small, slow,uncoodinated, bad reflexes, slightly uneven gait)
but I still stuck with that. For eight years.

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07-16-2009, 04:00 AM
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If you have the individual skills, you just have to work on putting them all together. I recommend playing at the lowest level you can and gradually building up.

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07-16-2009, 09:53 AM
  #14
BrOrpik 44
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
Less is more ... when I think too much I don't get much done. I am sure that applies to most folk.

Hockey is such a reaction sport with the puck telling you your job that you can't think out there.
Oh yeah I definiatly feel the same, and I only play what you americans call puck n stick.
You have to just stop thinking and start playing, if you dont think, you will just enjoy yourself and do everything as the body want you to do, not the head.

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Old
07-16-2009, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
My biggest problem, is adjusting to the speed of an actual game. I'm not slow, but I just have trouble... making decisions at a frantic pace.
I think the main problem is that you haven't made a decision about what you want to excel at. It's not a question of "being better" -- it's you picking a critical aspect of your game, practicing that skill until you can do it in your sleep and then doing it in a game situation.

Let's say you're a left wing. You already know that, when your team is breaking out of the zone, you need to be at the left point waiting for a pass. Before your defenseman decides which point he's going to pass to you should be scanning the ice to see how many guys you'll need to skate past if the puck comes your way. AND you should be confident in your own abilities (because you practiced it) that you can deke 2 forecheckers out of their skates to carry the puck into the offensive zone. If you don't feel confident in your puck protection abilities then it's important that you practice this until you can do it in a game without hesitating. Until you've mastered this part of your game the only decision you should be making is which team mate you can pass to safely (and even that requires some measure of practice).

It's great to have a well rounded game but if you do everything at a "meh" level then you don't have a can't miss option for what to do. I think this is what has you stuck deciding what to do with the puck when you have it on your stick.

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07-16-2009, 11:29 AM
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.....Do you play scared by any chance??

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07-16-2009, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobsled Gainey View Post
You're thinking too much. You need to work on just calming down and as you do this, everything will start to come to you in slow motion.

Its really weird when you reach that point, because everyone looks so slow, and everything feels a little easy.

You need to calm, have patience, and focus. Its not something that is easy to train or learn.
I gotta agree with this. Since I don't play year round, I go through this every year for the first three or four games. I know what I can and can't do at my age, and it usually takes a month before I have everything play in front of me in slow motion.

For you, it might be different. It might take a little as a game to see it or it may even take a full season. Either way, don't be rattled if you don't see it right away.

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07-16-2009, 02:46 PM
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Yeah, you have to not think about it, just read and react. Getting to that point just takes experience.

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07-17-2009, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
How do I obtain "it". What I mean is, I have decent skills in comparison to my competition. Even though i'm fairly small, I can skate slightly better than my competition, my shot is fine, vision is fine, and I can stickhandle alright. I even do ok in stick time, but when gametime rolls around, I'm not a very effective player. I don't know if it's the speed of an actual game or lack of experience or what, but I'm not as good as everyone else even though my skills are comparable.

So, what are some drills I can work or, or do I just need a whole new mindset?


It could be just that, because you're new, you have a bit more reserved playing, which can results in a lack of intensity, which could cause ineffectiveness....

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07-17-2009, 11:06 AM
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WickedWrister
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Ok guys, I had a game yesterday afternoon and we ended up losing in the shootout 6-5. I had a really weak assist and a couple of shots on goal.

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07-17-2009, 08:15 PM
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EmptyNetter
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Ok guys, I had a game yesterday afternoon and we ended up losing in the shootout 6-5. I had a really weak assist and a couple of shots on goal.
. . . and we still aren't sure what position you play.

While the game is fresh in your mind what was the one moment you wish you had to do over.

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07-19-2009, 04:00 PM
  #22
Mr Wentworth
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Watch an isolated camera.
I think they have those on NHL.com or something.

Watch one player as much as you can.

Look at him, what does he do when the puck is passed across the ice by the other team?
What does he do when his team breaks out?
What does he do when his team is cycling in the offensive zone?

Watch what he's doing.
Think, "Why is he doing that?"

Do your best to understand why he did what he did to help his team out and not to put up indiviual numbers.

Just keep this up, and you'll have a better chance at being a more complete player.

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07-22-2009, 01:57 AM
  #23
BadHammy*
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Originally Posted by The Invisible Poster View Post
Watch an isolated camera.
I think they have those on NHL.com or something.

Watch one player as much as you can.

Look at him, what does he do when the puck is passed across the ice by the other team?
What does he do when his team breaks out?
What does he do when his team is cycling in the offensive zone?

Watch what he's doing.
Think, "Why is he doing that?"

Do your best to understand why he did what he did to help his team out and not to put up indiviual numbers.

Just keep this up, and you'll have a better chance at being a more complete player.
Very good advice. Watching a lot of higher level games will surely help you.

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07-22-2009, 02:28 PM
  #24
WickedWrister
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. . . and we still aren't sure what position you play.

While the game is fresh in your mind what was the one moment you wish you had to do over.
Sorry, I'm a forward, usually LW.

Something I think I need to work on is being more active in the play. I don't want to say I'm a soft floater but whenever I think my team is going to gain possession of the puck, I speed up ice trying to get a long outlet pass.

Usually, I won't get that pass in stride because I'm far away from the puck, or it will come to hard and I won't be able to take it cleanly. My next game is tonight, and I think I'm going to help by trying to skate the puck out of my zone instead of looking for long passes.

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07-23-2009, 11:05 AM
  #25
Mr Wentworth
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Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
Sorry, I'm a forward, usually LW.

Something I think I need to work on is being more active in the play. I don't want to say I'm a soft floater but whenever I think my team is going to gain possession of the puck, I speed up ice trying to get a long outlet pass.

Usually, I won't get that pass in stride because I'm far away from the puck, or it will come to hard and I won't be able to take it cleanly. My next game is tonight, and I think I'm going to help by trying to skate the puck out of my zone instead of looking for long passes.
To quote myself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Invisible Poster View Post
Watch an isolated camera.
I think they have those on NHL.com or something.

Watch one player as much as you can.

Look at him, what does he do when the puck is passed across the ice by the other team?
What does he do when his team breaks out?
What does he do when his team is cycling in the offensive zone?

Watch what he's doing.
Think, "Why is he doing that?"

Do your best to understand why he did what he did to help his team out and not to put up indiviual numbers.
Just keep this up, and you'll have a better chance at being a more complete player.

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